(Blog courtesy of Debi Haden: www.debihaden.co.uk)
Ahoy there Captain..
There are many great advantages about being the captain of your own ship, calling the shots and deciding how you want your business to look and feel, that’s why entrepreneurship is on the increase, especially in the over 50’s. When we are doing something we are passionate about, especially in the early stages, it’s easy to work excessive hours. It doesn’t feel like work, right? You feel highly motivated and driven.
The once taken 25+ holiday days drift into the distance and for many business owners, especially sole traders, holidays are not even on the agenda. It can easily be the norm to take no or few days off. One of the things I share with those I work with who are just starting out in business is that unless you create some positive self-care from the get-go you won’t be as effective as you want to be, and in the long term, you could face business burnout! Latest statistics show that over 25% of entrepreneurs have taken time away from their business due to stress.
Stress causes all sorts of issues, both mentally and physically, and once on this path, it’s much harder to come back from than putting preventative measures in place in the first place.
Here are my top 10 tips for creating positive self-care habits for you to avoid business burnout:
1. Think about how you want your working week to look, build in regular hours and at least a day a week off.
2. Work out how many holiday days you’d like to give yourself for the year, in the early days of developing your business you might find yourself wanting to take less, but make sure you do book it in your diary and take it.
3. Stepping away from your business, free from the telephone and computers can be hugely beneficial as it gives us time to recharge our batteries and come back to work with a new vigour and passion.
4. Agree a time, at least an hour ideally longer, before bedtime to switch off from any work, checking emails, phone etc. This will aid more restful sleep.
5. Keep a notepad by your bed. If you find your head full of work stuff before bedtime write it all down, clear your head, it’ll still be there in the morning but at least you will have left it behind at bedtime.
6. Take time out for hobbies and interests. It can be one of the first things we let go of when we become self-employed, often due to limited time and money, but it’s really important you do have things in your life other than work.
7. Find your ‘tribe’ – it can feel lonely and isolating when working for yourself, especially if you work from home. Try out local business support groups, find out what works for you, who you connect with.
8. Create your support network. Running a business can be complex and lead to us doing things we’ve never done before likes accounts, marketing, networking, website and business development! It can feel daunting and at times overwhelming. Look at local courses and advice services open to you, some will be free if you are a new business.
9. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, not able to switch off, having disturbed sleep, or struggling with any other symptoms of stress then consult a doctor, coach, or speak to someone close to you. Many people suffer from Stress, anxiety and depression, don’t feel you have to hide it or be ashamed, it’s ok to not be ok.
10. Don’t bury your head in the sand if you feel overwhelmed, lack direction or focus. Working with a good business coach can be hugely beneficial and worth the investment. They can guide and challenge you as you develop your business, saving you wasted time and energy in the long run. Find one you relate to and don’t be frightened of accessing a free conversation with a few of them to ensure you find the right coach for you.
For more information on the services I offer around business, self-care, stress management and coaching, in general, contact me to claim one of the FREE limited clarity calls I offer.